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For Immediate Release
May 7, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

OWNER OF MULTIPLE TRAVEL AGENCIES GUILTY OF STEALING FROM AIRLINES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the guilty plea of Emad Emile Dides, of 1396 Gregg Drive, Lusby, Maryland in the Circuit Court for St. Mary’s County. Dides, 44 yrs. old, was found guilty on one count of felony theft in connection with his ownership and operation of multiple travel agencies doing business as One World Travel, Inc., formerly located at 22741 Three Notch Road, in the Hickory Hill Shopping Center in California, Maryland. At the time of the theft, Dides was controlling five travel agencies that would all route ticket information through that main office in St. Mary’s County.

The guilty plea outlined how Dides stole money from 13 major airlines, both foreign and domestic, by stealing inflated commissions and taking money for ticket sales that were unreported to the airlines. As for the inflated commissions, Dides would take 100% percent commissions on tickets and then get those tickets refunded almost immediately yet keep the commissions. The airlines would issue debit memos requesting the ill-gotten commissions for tickets that no longer existed, to which Dides would never reply. The second theft scheme, unreported sales, was perpetrated by Dides taking money from passengers and pocketing it for his own use. He would provide legitimate tickets for passengers but never report the travel to the airlines. The airlines would only become aware of the ticket after the flight, in which case they would ask for the money taken by Dides, yet he never would give the stolen money back to the airline. In total, Dides pled guilty to stealing just over $100,000 pursuant to those theft schemes. Some of the individual airlines, such Japan Airlines, Turkish Airways and Delta Airlines lost well over $10,000 individually.

A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered by the Court, once the investigation is complete a sentencing date will be set. The case was investigated by the Maryland State Police and was prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division.

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